Modern Foreign Languages
The study of Modern Foreign Languages is an important part of the curriculum at Churchdown School Academy. The department is staffed by four well-qualified language teachers, and we teach French, German and Spanish up to A Level.
Language lessons are taught in a modern, purpose- built suite of classrooms. Each room is equipped with air -conditioning, interactive whiteboards, and all staff use the latest technology and language software in their daily teaching.
In Year 7 all pupils study one foreign language. This could be Spanish, French or German (we offer two out of three languages in Year 7 each year). The curriculum is skills-based in order to ensure students learn structures and grammatical concepts to enable them to make good progress and to master how a language works. These key skills are revisited and built upon regularly throughout Key Stage 3. In Year 7 students will learn about famous French, Spanish or German people, cultural festivals, sports, music and film, their dream house and fairytales.
In Years 8 and 9, pupils continue to study one language. They draw on the generic language learning skills that they picked up in year 7 to develop their confidence and ability as they learn to speak in different tenses across a variety of stimulating topics.
Edexcel GCSE (9-1) German/French/Spanish
Topics that are covered across the four language skills are designed to help pupils to understand and be able to communicate effectively across a range of relevant contemporary and cultural themes. There are 5 main themes that are broken down into sub-topics:
• Identity and Culture:relationships, friends and family, everyday life, food and drink, social media, celebrations, sport, music, TV
• Local Area, Holidays and Travel:holiday preferences, travel and accommodation, dealing with problems, shopping, eating out
• School:school day, subjects, rules and pressures, school trips, events, exchanges
• Future Aspirations, Study and Work:using languages beyond the classroom, employment, further study, volunteering
• International and Global Dimension: sports and music events, campaigns and good causes, environmental issues, being “green”
AQA A Level German/French /Spanish
At A Level students will further develop their linguistic skills alongside their understanding of the culture and society of the countries where German/ French/ Spanish is spoken. Pupils will study a range of different topics based on social and technological change. For example, in Year 12 they will explore the changing state of the family, aspects of youth culture, including fashion, music and television. At A Level they will go on to look at integration, immigration and racism. They will also focus on the digital world, and highlights of German/ French/Spanish speaking artistic culture, including art and architecture. They will look at festivals and traditions. Students will discuss the European Union and Politics and Youth. They will also explore the influence of the past on present day German/ French/ Spanish speaking countries, and the issues and influences that have shaped them. They will also study a film and a book, and they will be able to carry out independent research on an area of their choice.
Extra Curricular Opportunities
The MFL department is committed to providing a variety of opportunities for enthusiastic and talented linguists at Churchdown. We offer trips abroad for all pupils. We hold the European Day of Languages in September every year, and encourage all staff and students to try a different language as they greet each other. For example, every student or member of staff asking for a cake in a foreign language from the MFL cake stall at break, gets it free of charge.
We run a House Event each year, for example a 'Singalonga Disney' competition in different languages.
We organise various intervention clubs at lunchtimes and after school for Year 11 students, which are well attended.
The department runs a range of educational visits. Students are offered the opportunity to go on a residential visit to the Rhineland in Germany, Normandy in France or the Murcia region of Spain, depending on the language they are studying. Underpinning all of our trips is the aim that our students experience the culture and history of these fabulous European countries, and use their language in a real context.
Next steps or Where the subject leads
People with language skills are highly thought of in the modern world. They stand out as talented and successful people, excellent communicators, with broad and exciting horizons! Taking a formal qualification in German/French/Spanish will mean that you will:
Be able to study German/French/Spanish at A Level in the sixth form, and to degree level at university, if you study A Level
Add an extra dimension to your personal skills profile, which will impress anyone who reads your CV
Be in a stronger position to get a job in companies with international links
Be able to speak and write German/French/Spanish spontaneously, and have a deep understanding of the lifestyle and culture of German/French/Spanish speaking countries
• Careers using Languages include:
These are interactive websites to help you revise, where you can play games and complete activities on line for immediate feedback. If you require past papers or downloadable / paper resources, your MFL teacher can point you in the right direction.
If you need any logon details, just ask your MFL teacher.